Pearce, William M (Bill) 1973, 1974, 1979, 1991

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Tapes 1-6: Dr. William M. Pearce, Texas Tech University professor of history and administrator, recalls his career and reviews the history of Texas Tech. Tape 7: Dr. Pearce discusses the separation of sociology into its own department at Tech. Tape 8: He gives a presentation of his research on Cantonment Burgwin, a mid-19th century Army post near Taos, New Mexico. Tape 9: In addition to Cantonment Burgwin, Pearce discusses his research of the oil business in association with Tech professor C. C. Rister.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: William M. (Bill) Pearce

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: July 24, 1973; November 18, 1974; August 1, 1979; c. 1991

Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Interviewer: David Murrah and Lindsey P. Esco

Length: 7 hours 30 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Pearce family, Will Morton Pearce, father, Annie Eugenia Bates, mother, William M. Pearce, Born: Plainview, Texas (March 11, 1913), Sisters, Father (again), Education career, Education, Preaching career, William M. Pearce (again), Father (again), Character, Career (again), William M. Pearce (again), Education, Abilene and Amarillo, Texas, Father (again), Church positions, To Vernon, Texas (1930), To Lubbock, Texas (1933), To Pampa, Texas (1937), To Vernon, Texas (1941), Parkinson’s disease, Death (1952), Mother (again), William M. Pearce (again), Amarillo High School football, Hugh Butler, Dutchy Smith (1928-1930), Blair Cherry (1930s), Oil booms and football, Kemper Military School, Missouri, Discipline, Great Depression, Size of school, Southern Methodist University, History major.

Tape 1, Side 2: William M. Pearce (continued), SMU (continued), Trip to New Mexico (1933), To Lubbock (1933), Texas Tech (1934), Description (1928 and 1934), W. C. Holden—archaeology tour of Mexico, Return to SMU (1934-1935), Holden trip to Glorieta, New Mexico (1935), Graduate studies, Texas Tech Anthropology, Teaching college history (1936), Archaeology jobs, High school teaching, Dalhart, Texas, Completed master’s degree (1937).

Tape 2, Side 1: W. C. Holden (again), First wife’s death (1937), To Odessa, Texas, Texas Tech history, Dr. Paul W. Horn, President, Early faculty, Dr. Bradford Knapp, President, Clifford B. Jones, President, William M. Pearce (again), Teaching duties, History Department, Faculty (again), History faculty, World War II, National unity, Enlisted, summer 1942, Military training, European service.

Tape 2, Side 2: William M. Pearce (continued), World War II (continued), European service (continued), Return to Texas Tech (1945), Graduate work, University of Texas (1947), Matador Ranch research, Matador Land and Cattle Company book, Delays, Completed (1963), Published (1964), McKenzie family, Matador Ranch.

Tape 3, Side 1: McKenzie family (continued), Matador Ranch (again), Texas Tech history (again), William Whyburn, President, Old West Texas Museum, Dr. Dossie Wiggins, President, Carl Coke Rister, Doctoral programs established, Geology Department, History Department, Administration.

Tape 3, Side 2: Texas Tech history (continued), Dr. Wiggins (continued), Administration (continued), E. N. Jones, President, Institute of Americanism, J. Evetts Haley, McCarthyism (early 1950s), Dr. Byron Abernathy firing.

Tape 4, Side 1: Texas Tech history (continued), E. N. Jones (continued), McCarthyism (continued), Dr. Abernathy firing (continued), Faculty censorship, Anecdote: atheism, communism accusations, 1948, Dr. John Granbery removed (1930s), Dr. Stensland, Adult Education, Pantex acquisition, Southwest Collection creation, Builders of the Southwest, Admission to Southwest Conference, E. N. Jones (again), Resignation (1959), Abernathy firing (again).

Tape 4, Side 2: William M. Pearce, Promotions, Academic Vice President job, Executive Vice President job, Institutional self-evaluation, Texas Tech history (again), Dr. R. C. Goodwin, President, Health absence (1961), College integration (1961), Athletic program, As an administrator, Anecdote: Stoney Wall, Ralph Durham, agricultural researcher.

Tape 5, Side 1: Texas Tech history (continued), Inter-departmental rivalries, Mandatory retirement policy, Grover E. Murray, President, Comparison to Dr. Wiggins, Administrative appointments, Marshall Pennington, Pearce’s job duties (1960s).

Tape 5, Side 2: Texas Tech history (continued), Grover Murray (continued), Administrative abilities, Law and medical schools, State and local politics, Removal of AAUP censure, School name change, Preston Smith, Legislative Budget Board.

Tape 6, Side 1: Texas Tech history (continued), Relationship with state government, William M. Pearce (again), Other job opportunities, Texas Wesleyan presidency, Left Texas Tech (1968), Texas Wesleyan presidency (again), Future plans, Texas Tech history (again), Relationship with Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Pete Cawthon.

Tape 6, Side 2: Texas Tech history (again), Dell Morgan, DeWitt Weaver, J. T. King, Problems at Texas Tech.

Tape 7, Side 1: William M. Pearce, Involvement with sociology department, Post-World War II development, Attitudes toward sociology, Department affiliations, Growth of department, Separation into a single unit, Procedures, Comparison to anthropology, Administrative support of sociology department, Dr. Curry Holden’s support and information, Dr. Winfred Steglich, first department chairman, Southwest Conference football.

Tape 7, Side 2: Blank

Tape 8, Side 1: War with Mexico, Rebellion of Native Americans near Taos, New Mexico (1847), Captain Burgwin, U. S. Army quells revolt, Captain Sumner establishes Cantoment Burgwin (1852), Displaced from distractions of Taos, Dragoons stationed there, Hard winters, Soldiers’ morale, Indian problems, Major George Blake, Poor disciplinarian, "Taos lightning", Colonel Philip St. George Cooke retaliates against Indians, Cantonment closed (1860), Twentieth Century, Locals loot post, Fred Wendorff interested (1954), Wendorff to Texas Tech (1956), Investigates Burgwin, Sketches in National Archives, Determines location, Archaeology class from Tech excavates (1957), Park Service provides for reconstruction, Wendorff to Southern Methodist University, Bill Clements interested, SMU takes over site, Summer programs begin, Research center, Question and answer session.

Tape 8, Side 2: Blank

Tape 9, Side 1: Dr. Rister’s project on oil history, Oil, Titan of the Southwest, William M. Pearce, Field work for Rister in Rockies, C. T. McLaughlin (Diamond M Foundation), Suspicion of oil companies, Dr. Rister, Health problems and death (1955), Background, University of Oklahoma, Dr. D. M. Wiggins—Simmons College, First Tech Distinguished Professor, Dr. Curry Holden, W. M. Pearce’s relationship, Career at Texas Tech, Heart attack, Pearce relationship (again), Lure to build up number of graduate students, Early Texas Tech graduate school, Dr. Beddington Reed—first Tech Ph.D., Reputation, Influence on establishing graduate school, Offshore oil wells, Bill Clements, George Bush, Dr. Rister (again), Distinguished professor controversy, Texas Tech growth—post-World War II, Dr. Rister (again), Work with Leroy Hafen, Project on oil industry history, Robert Leslie Martin work on history of oil industry, Oklahoma College of Liberal Arts, "Big Oil" feared among Texans?.

Tape 9, Side 2: Introduction incorrect, Big oil companies’ opposition to Dr. Rister’s project, Conoco, Casper, Wyoming, Oil shale, Dr. Rister’s project (again), Independents, End result, Bill Clements (again), William M. Pearce (again), Director of Fort Burgwin project, Fred Wendorff, Mr. Rounds, Fort Burgwin history, Wendorff’s efforts to restore, Excavation, SMU’s interest, Bill Clements, Interest in Fort Burgwin, Builds house, Characteristics, Offshore drilling business, Oil companies.

Range Dates: 1846-1991

Bulk Dates: 1930-1970

Access Information

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